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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                               133
range to the north, and by the island of Ceylon to the east.
We have, therefore, in the southernmost part of India, in a
latitude between 8 and 10 N., a hot, arid climate, resembling
that of Egypt, like which it produces the best quality of senna
and cotton, and many wild plants characteristic of'the Egyp-
tian Flora, which avoid humidity, and are not k^own else-
where in the Peninsula, Of this, two remarkable instances
are Gocculm Le&ba, and Camparis aphylla*
As a whole, the vegetation of the Carnatic is neither rich nor
varied. The climate being very arid except'during the north-
east monsoon, the humid flora is entirely absent. There is
no forest, except on the flanks of the higher mountains,
which bound the province on the west, or rise from its plains;
and there the vegetation resembles that of the drier parts of
Ceylon or of the Mysore hills* The shrubby flora of the
open jJains consists chiefly of Cappanclc^^ Rhamnacees, Aca-
cia, and spinous Rubiacea, Akmr/iwn, Azima, Carissa and
Calotropis yiyuniea, Ekretia buxifoliat Ghnetina, Safvadora,
Antidexma, Pisonia, and such like shrubby plants. The only
Palms arc a Calamus and Phwnw, besides the commonly cul-
tivated CocoSy Borasms (which characterizes dry countries),
and Areca. Along with these, grow many shrubs which arc
spread over the whole of the drier parts of India, as far as
the Himalaya. Many of the annual plants liave an equally
wide j'iiugc, especially those of the rains; which are scarcely
different from those of tho Gangctic valley. As there is 110
winter, there arc iiio northern types found in -any part of the
Carnatic.
The vegetation of the hilly parts of the Carnatic has yielded
no peculiarities. Most of the hills arc of too trifling elevation
to exhibit any marked difference of mean temperature; and
even the Salem range, from the isolated position of its masses,
appears to present fewer peculiar features than more continuous
mountain masses of even less elevation. The flanks are co-
vered with dense bamboo jungle, and the summit is bare and
grassy, except in ravines tuul along the streams. A detailed